Sermon quotes on needs

Augustine of Hippo

God gives where he finds empty hands.

Francis Chan

The irony is that while God doesn’t need us but still wants us, we desperately need God but don’t really want Him most of the time.

Henry Cloud

We grow in part by confessing our faults and weaknesses to each other (James 5:16; Eccl. 4:10). If we are always being strong and without needs, we are not growing, and we are setting ourselves up for a very dangerous fall.

Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren’t

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The world says: “You have needs — satisfy them. You have as much right as the rich and the mighty. Don’t hesitate to satisfy your needs; indeed, expand your needs and demand more.” This is the worldly doctrine of today. And they believe that this is freedom. The result for the rich is isolation and suicide, for the poor, envy and murder.”

The Brothers Karamazov

Craig Groeschel

But just as your body needs sleep, your soul needs time to rest in God. To learn more about Him. To talk to Him. To worship and praise Him. To fellowship with other brothers and sisters.

Weird: Because Normal Isn’t Working

Joseph Hart

All the fitness He requireth is to feel your need of Him . . . He is able, He is able; He is willing; doubt no more.

“Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Wretched,” lyrics by (1759). Public domain.

Iranian Proverb

Great needs grow from great possessions.

Jack Hyles

Failure means I dared try.

Timothy Keller

If our identity is in our work, rather than Christ, success will go to our heads, and failure will go to our hearts.


Eric Ludy

There are two ways each of us can approach life: spending our days meeting our needs or looking for ways to meet others’ needs. The mystery is that when we spend our life focused on our own needs, we are never satisfied… but when we pour out our life and focus on how we can serve others… our deepest needs are met as well!

When God Writes Your Love Story

M. Mead

One of the oldest human needs is to have someone to wonder where you are if you don’t come home at night.

Bianca Juarez Olthoff

Although I witnessed the faithfulness of God to meet my basic needs, I used coping mechanisms to meet my immediate, personal needs.

Play with Fire, Zondervan, 2016, p. 24.

Bianca Juarez Olthoff

There is an invisible pattern in the design of deprivation: deprivation draws out desire. Absence heightens it. And the more heightened the desire, the greater our satisfaction will ultimately be. It is through mourning that we know the joy of comfort (Matt. 5:4). It is the hungry and thirsty who will be satisfied (Matt. 5:6). Longing makes us ask; emptiness makes us seek; silence makes us knock (Luke 11:9).

Play with Fire, Zondervan, 2016, p.76.

Blaise Pascal

It is not good to be too free.

It is not good to have all one needs.

Human Happiness. p.11.

Marilynne Robinson

“For need can blossom into all the compensation it requires. To crave and to have are as like as a thing and its shadow. For when does a berry break upon the tongue as sweetly as when one longs to taste it, and when is the taste refracted into so many hues and savors of ripeness and earth, and when do our senses know any thing so utterly as when we lack it? And here again is a foreshadowing-the world will be made whole. For to wish for a hand on one’s hair is all but to feel it. So whatever we may lose, very craving gives it back to us again. Though we dream and hardly know it, longing, like an angel, fosters us, smooths our hair, and brings us wild strawberries.”


John Steinbeck

The doctrine of our time is that man can’t get along without a whole hell of a lot of stuff. You may not be preaching it, but you’re living treason.

Sweet Thursday

Michael Wear

Politics is causing great spiritual harm and a big reason for that is people are going to politics to have their inner needs met. Politics does a poor job of meeting inner needs, but politicians will suggest they can do it if it will get them votes. The state of our politics is a reflection of the state of our souls.

Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House about the Future of Faith in America (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Books), xxix.

John Wesley

Do you not know that God entrusted you with that money (all above what buys necessities for your families) to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to help the stranger, the widow, the fatherless; and, indeed, as far as it will go, to relieve the wants of all mankind? How can you, how dare you, defraud the Lord, by applying it to any other purpose?

Wall Street Banker

We must shift America from a needs to a desires culture…. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old have been entirely consumed. We must shape a new mentality. Man’s desires must overshadow his needs.

Quoted by Jeremy Lent in The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity’s Search for Meaning (New York: Prometheus Books, 2017), p.380.

1927 U.S. Journalist

A change has come over our democracy. It is called consumptionism. The American citizen’s first importance to his country is now no longer that of citizen but that of consumer.

Quoted in The Century of the Self, BBC Documentary, 2002.

Jen Pollock Michel

We have needs and wants, and to try to eliminate these from prayer in an effort to be more “spiritual” is gnostic, even cowardly. We have to make a better way forward.

Taken from Teach us to Want: Longing, Ambition, and the Life of Faith by Jen Pollock Michel Copyright (c) 2014 by Jen Pollock Michel. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL.

Martin Luther

If silver and gold are things evil in themselves, then those who keep away from them deserve to be praised. But if they are good creatures of God, which we can use both for the needs of our neighbor and for the glory of God, is not a person silly, yes, even unthankful to God, if he refrains from them as if they were evil?

Peter Maurin

The Greeks used to say that people in need are ambassadors of the gods.

Mahatma Gandhi 

This world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.

Frederick Buechner

The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.

Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC

Alia Joy

So we learn early on that lack is embarrassing. Our pain is uncomfortable not just for ourselves but for those around us. Our need is obscene and offensive to a world that prides itself on its self-reliance and wide-open smiles. A world where we easily dismiss pain we do not ourselves feel.

Glorious Weakness: Discovering God in All We Lack, Baker Books, 2019.

Still Looking for inspiration?

Consider checking out our illustrations page on Needs. 

Follow us on social media: